What are some Argentina appetizers?

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What are some Argentina appetizers?

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Argentina, a land of captivating landscapes, passionate tango, and rich cultural heritage, is also a paradise for food enthusiasts. While the country is renowned for its succulent steaks and fine wines, its appetizers are equally impressive, offering a tantalizing prelude to the gastronomic delights that await. In this article, we’ll embark on a culinary journey through Argentina and explore some of the most delectable and traditional appetizers that grace Argentine tables.


Arguably the most iconic Argentine appetizer, empanadas are savory hand-held pastries that have become a global sensation. These stuffed turnovers are made by folding a thin dough around various fillings, which can range from minced beef, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and olives to cheese and vegetables. Empanadas are then baked or fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy, golden exterior that gives way to a flavorful interior bursting with aromas and textures. They are often served with chimichurri sauce, a zesty condiment made from parsley, garlic, vinegar, and spices.


Provoleta is a mouthwatering appetizer that showcases Argentina’s love for cheese. It consists of a wheel of provolone cheese, which is typically seasoned with oregano, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, then grilled until it reaches a gooey, golden-brown consistency. Served piping hot, provoleta is enjoyed by scooping the melted cheese onto slices of rustic bread or crackers. The crispy, slightly charred crust contrasts beautifully with the creamy interior, making it a favorite among cheese aficionados.

Matambre a la Pizza

Matambre a la pizza is a unique Argentine appetizer that combines thin slices of beef with pizza flavors. Translating to “flank steak pizza style,” this dish features marinated flank steak that is grilled to perfection, then topped with a tomato-based sauce, melted cheese, and various seasonings like oregano and red pepper flakes. The result is a harmonious blend of Argentine grilling traditions and Italian pizza flavors, creating a mouthwatering appetizer that is sure to please.

Humita en Chala

Humita en chala is a traditional Argentine corn tamale that offers a delightful contrast of flavors and textures. Made by mixing grated fresh corn, sautéed onions, and spices, the mixture is then wrapped in corn husks and steamed until it reaches a creamy, custard-like consistency. The aroma of the corn and the delicate sweetness of the dish are enhanced by the earthy flavor of the corn husks, creating a unique and comforting appetizer that is enjoyed throughout the country.


Choripán is a beloved Argentine street food and appetizer that consists of a grilled chorizo sausage (chori) served on a crusty bread roll (pan). The chorizo is typically seasoned with chimichurri sauce, chimichurri mayonnaise, or other condiments to add a burst of flavor. It’s a simple yet incredibly satisfying snack that showcases Argentina’s love for grilled meats.


Morcilla, also known as blood sausage, is a bold and distinctive Argentine appetizer made from pig’s blood and a mixture of spices and ingredients such as rice, onions, and herbs. The mixture is stuffed into a sausage casing and then grilled or fried until it becomes crispy on the outside while retaining a rich, savory interior. Morcilla is an acquired taste due to its unique flavor and texture, but for those willing to venture into the world of offal, it’s a delicacy worth trying.

Papas Bravas

Papas bravas, which means “brave potatoes,” are a popular Argentine appetizer influenced by Spanish cuisine. This dish consists of crispy, fried potato wedges served with a spicy tomato sauce or aioli, creating a satisfying combination of crunchy and creamy textures with a kick of heat. Papas bravas are often enjoyed as a tapa or alongside other appetizers during social gatherings.


Cazuela is a hearty Argentine soup that can also be served as an appetizer. This flavorful stew features a base of broth, vegetables, and meat, often including chicken or beef, and is seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. The ingredients are simmered together until they meld into a comforting and savory concoction. Cazuela is typically served in small portions as an appetizer or in larger servings as a main course.

Ensalada Rusa

Ensalada Rusa, or Russian salad, is a popular appetizer in Argentina that has its roots in Russian cuisine. This cold salad is made with diced boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, and hard-boiled eggs, all bound together with mayonnaise. It’s a creamy and refreshing dish, often served as a side or appetizer during family gatherings, especially on festive occasions.

Matambre a la Leche

Matambre a la leche is another appetizer that showcases Argentina’s love for beef. In this dish, thin slices of beef flank steak are simmered in a creamy milk-based sauce flavored with herbs and spices. The result is tender, flavorful beef that has absorbed the rich and comforting flavors of the sauce. Matambre a la leche is often served with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Argentina’s appetizers offer a tantalizing glimpse into the country’s diverse and flavorful culinary heritage. From the beloved empanadas to the cheesy provoleta, the country’s appetizers are a testament to Argentina’s love for bold flavors, hearty ingredients, and communal dining experiences. Whether enjoyed on the streets of Buenos Aires, in a traditional parrilla (grillhouse), or at a family gathering, these appetizers are an integral part of Argentina’s vibrant food culture, inviting both locals and visitors to savor the tastes and traditions of this remarkable nation. So, the next time you find yourself in Argentina, be sure to explore these appetizing starters as you embark on a culinary adventure through this captivating South American country.

Additional Appetizers and Regional Variations

While the aforementioned appetizers represent some of Argentina’s most famous and beloved starters, the country’s diverse regions offer a wide range of regional variations and unique dishes that are worth exploring.

Tarta Pascualina: Originating in Uruguay but widely enjoyed in Argentina, tarta pascualina is a savory pastry filled with a mixture of spinach, ricotta cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. It’s a delightful appetizer or snack option for those looking for a vegetarian option with a savory, creamy filling.

Pinchos: Commonly found in the northwestern region of Argentina, pinchos are skewered meat appetizers often made with marinated beef, chicken, or goat. They are typically cooked over an open flame and served with chimichurri sauce or salsa criolla, a zesty condiment made from onions, tomatoes, and peppers.

Pimientos Rellenos: This dish consists of bell peppers stuffed with a flavorful mixture of ground meat, rice, onions, and spices. The peppers are then baked until tender, and the dish is served with a tomato sauce or tomato-based broth, offering a delightful blend of textures and tastes.

Salmorejo: Hailing from the northern provinces of Argentina, salmorejo is a hearty stew-like dish that combines beans, bacon, and sausages in a rich tomato-based broth. While it’s often served as a main course, it can be enjoyed in smaller portions as a flavorful appetizer.

Chalaquita: Originating from the Andean region, chalaquita is a refreshing appetizer salad made with diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, all marinated in a zesty dressing of lime juice, vinegar, and olive oil. It’s a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or empanadas.

Champiñones Rellenos: Mushroom lovers will appreciate this Argentine appetizer, which features large mushrooms stuffed with a mixture of cheese, breadcrumbs, and herbs. They are typically baked until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is golden and crispy.

Huevos Quimbos: This dish, hailing from the Mendoza region, consists of eggs poached in a tomato and vegetable sauce. It’s a hearty and flavorful appetizer often served with slices of rustic bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Ceviche de Mariscos: Although not traditionally Argentine, ceviche has become popular in coastal regions. This appetizer showcases the influence of Latin American flavors, featuring fresh seafood like shrimp, squid, and fish marinated in a citrusy mixture of lime or lemon juice, cilantro, and chili peppers.

Argentina’s appetizers offer a diverse and flavorful array of dishes that reflect the country’s rich culinary traditions and cultural influences. From the famous empanadas and provoleta to regional specialties like chalaquita and huevos quimbos, Argentina’s appetizers provide a captivating introduction to the country’s vibrant food culture.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, savoring the flavors of the Andean provinces, or enjoying a traditional Argentine barbecue in the countryside, these appetizers are an essential part of the Argentine dining experience. They capture the essence of Argentina’s love for hearty ingredients, bold flavors, and communal dining, inviting both locals and visitors to partake in the culinary richness of this South American nation.

So, whether you’re planning a visit to Argentina or seeking to recreate the flavors of this captivating country in your own kitchen, be sure to indulge in these appetizing starters that reflect the heart and soul of Argentine cuisine.


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